On Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019, Mariah (aka “The Boss”), Frankie (aka “The Older Daughter”), and Alec (aka “The Older Daughter’s Husband”), and I met at Mariah’s eye clinic, loaded into a single vehicle, and hit the open road, headed for Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. (It’s about an hour drive from our town.)
The ultimate goal of this excursion was to witness a reading by Adam Savage (formerly the co-host of the wonderfully entertaining program, Myth Busters, and currently the driving force behind the YouToob channel, Tested, and the soon to debut Science Channel show, Savage Builds.) Mr. Savage was going to be reading from his new book, Every Tool’s a Hammer.
Revolution Hall is a cool venue. According to their website, the building USED to be a high school. Now it’s a concert hall, office park, and houses several bars, including a rooftop lounge (although I haven’t actually visited that part of the building, yet... I'm afraid of heights...)
Despite getting a bit of a late start, (Mariah had to work until 5:30 P.M.), we made good time on the freeway and, thankfully, Revolution Hall has parking right next to the venue for a reasonable price. (Only $5.00 for this event---compared to some P-Town parking, that’s a real steal. I’ve paid upwards of $15.00 for the day at some Portland lots. Gouge away!!!)
We found a parking space quite close to the hall and walked quickly to the building, where the doors were already open.
The ticket price for entry also included a free copy of Savage’s book, which was cool, and a “question card,” for a Q + A session after the reading. (Only Frankie and I filled out the question cards from our group; Mariah and Alec didn’t want to know anything, I guess…)
Interestingly, after we made it through the doors, got our books, and hit the restrooms, and as we were preparing to head upstairs to the auditorium, who should appear before us waiting to get on an elevator, but Adam Savage, himself, with a small group of people! Although none of us said anything to him as we passed, Frankie went into hyper-ventilation mode and basically vibrated for the next half-an-hour! (Savage is one of her heroes…)
We found our seats fairly easily. It’s not a big theater (holds about 800 people, according to the website, and it’s a great place to see a show! Elvis [aka “The Younger Daughter”] and I saw Jack Septiceye there last August.) Our seats for this event were quite close to the stage on the right side. (Unfortunately, because of the low light during the reading, our camera phones had a tough time taking any non-blurry photos---plus, Adam Savage was constantly in motion, adding to the photographic difficulty. Still, Mariah got a couple of good pictures!)
The show itself was great! Savage was up-beat, funny, sincere, and inspiring, and it’s clear from listening to him talk that he loves what he does. He read a chapter from his book, talked a bit about the writing process, a bit about his personal life (having kids and such), and quite a bit about his years as a “MAKER.” (This is a term I’ve heard thrown around quite a bit lately, and it seems like something that I may have, inadvertently, been doing for years without knowing that it was a “movement,” as such…) Then, he read several of the Q + A cards.
Frankie, in her card, mentioned that she and her husband were about to have a baby, and she wanted to know what advice Savage could give for how to best encourage their new kid to be crafty and creative. Savage’s answer was perfect: “Just get out of her way!” He said that you have to be supportive of their efforts, but he also mentioned that kids are “natural scientists,” meaning that they are naturally curious and inventive and, if allowed to, most little folk will just go for it and see what happens! (I agree.)
I, of course, asked something much deeper and more profound: “What’s your favorite puppet?” He answered, “Rowlf,” one of Jim Henson’s Muppets! I was satisfied with that response, and he also talked about visiting the Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image, in New York. I’m not really that keen to go to New York, but if anything is going to get me there, a Jim Henson retrospective might just do it!
Savage didn’t talk for too long, but the show was very entertaining, and I’m looking forward to reading his book. I think one of his primary messages was for folks to figure out what they enjoy, what they love---regardless of how nerdy or silly or seemingly STUPID that interest might be---and embrace their enjoyment of it. And I’m certainly cool with that message. (It almost seems like he was visited by the Winged Serpent and was put on the Path of Enlightened Entertainment! I can definitely see the signs!!!)
So---it was a great time! A great talk! Hanging with the family and doing something we all enjoyed! If Mr. Savage is going to be near your town or village, and you want some laughs and a bit of inspiration / motivation, I HIGHLY recommend catching his show! Once I get his book read, I’ll give it the review treatment and let you know what my thoughts are on that, as well, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything less than brilliantly entertaining…
Okay, now go do something that you’ll enjoy! Go!!!
---Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!